- Publication date
- First Edition: 2005 | Fifth Edition: 2017 (Featured)
- architecture, buildings, criticism and interpretation, architectural theory, Villa Garches, Villa de Monzie/Stein, Villa Stein, Le Corbusier, Colin Rowe, THE ARCHITECT PAINTER PRESS, JEF7REY HILDNER, Hardcover ISBN 9780998703046, Paperback ISBN 9781365847127
- THE ARCHITECT PAINTER PRESS
- JEF7REY HILDNER
DGARCHES 1234 | Remembering the Mathematics of the Ideal Villa: An Essay on Le Corbusier’s 1927 Villa de Monzie/Stein
BY JEF7REY HILDNER
PUBLISHED BY THE ARCHITECT PAINTER PRESS, SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
COPYRIGHT © 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017 BY JEF7REY HILDNER
IN 1927, THE GREAT SWISS-FRENCH ARCHITECT LE CORBUSIER completed a house in the Paris suburb of Garches. The house has become an icon of modern architecture. Other major architectural events took place that year: Konstantin Melnikov built his cylinder house in Moscow; Alvar Aalto won the competition for the design of the Viipuri Library in Vyborg, Russia; Pierre Chareau began work on the Maison de Verre in Paris; and sixteen leading architects of the modern movement, including Le Corbusier, showcased projects for working-class housing at the Weissenhof exhibition in Stuttgart. And in the new medium of cinema, 1927 featured Fritz Lang’s landmark film Metropolis — stunning audiences with visions of how buildings in the future could look.
But no structure of the early modernist era has gained more renown than Le Corbusier’s Villa de Monzie/Stein at Garches. In 1947, British scholar Colin Rowe’s essay “The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa” brought Garches to the foreground. And Garches—as architects refer to the house—has stayed there ever since.
(Name note: The house was commissioned by Gabrielle de Monzie. Her Christian Science friend Sarah Stein—married to Michael Stein, brother of Gertrude Stein—also participated significantly in the development of the project. Hence: Villa de Monzie/Stein.)
ARCHITECT JEF7REY HILDNER revisits the mathematics of the ideal villa. He uncovers Rowe’s oversights and sweeps away the mythologies about Garches that Rowe’s essay generated. In addition, Hildner’s analysis and drawings reveal new aspects of Le Corbusier's work that have remained hidden until now. Garches 1234—picking up where Rowe left off—throws bold light on Le Corbusier’s assertion that at Garches, more than any of his other projects, “proportion ruled absolutely there, as absolute mistress.”
Earlier versions of this essay appear under the title "Remembering the Mathematics of the Ideal Villa" in the refereed 86th Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Annual Meeting Proceedings (1998) and in the refereed quarterly Journal of Architectural Education (JAE) (February 1999) published by The MIT Press (see also Wiley Online Library).
Garches 1234 presents Hildner's essay in its final and fully illustrated form.
ARCHITECT, PAINTER, AND WRITER JEF7REY HILDNER launched The Architect Painter Press in 2005 under the banner, “Live Brave.” The Architect Painter Press presents Hildner’s buildings, paintings, and insights—work that reflects his focus on the visible and invisible architecture of life and art. The Architect Painter Press also seeks to present the work of other artists. Current titles range from Hildner's books Visual Ef9ects, Daedalus 9, Henry Trucks — Painter, Picasso Lessons, and Garches 1234 to his books Metaphysical Warrior and Live Brave. His work also appears in a wide array of other venues—for example, Architectural Record, Journal of Architectural Education, ANY, Oz, The Christian Science Monitor, IMDb, and Global Architecture Houses. The book Architectural Formalism, by Hakan Anay, features Hildner’s essay “Formalism: Move | Meaning” alongside essays by theorists Rosalind Krauss, Peggy Deamer, Robert Slutzky, and Colin Rowe. Hildner received an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture award for excellence in teaching. His project Dante | Telescope House won the New Jersey Chapter of The American Institute of Architects “Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in Design.” Hildner also writes under the names Madison Gray and Eliot Plum. He paints under the name Henry Trucks. Hildner’s one-word life theme—architecture—shapes his quest, his outlook, and his output, including his work as screenwriter and story architect. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Princeton University.
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